By Myrna M. Velasco
Following the enforcement of 90-day deadline extension on tender submissions, the Department of Energy (DOE) is undertaking this week the United States leg of its roadshow to entice more investors into the 14 pre-determined areas (PDAs) or petroleum blocks that the government has been offering via the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program.
The America roadshow will coincide with the annual convention and exhibition of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) in San Antonio, Texas on May 19-22.
As announced by the department, the delegation led by Energy Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos will do the presentation and will also be holding one-on-one meetings with interested parties.
Meanwhile, the submission of offers on the specified blocks have been moved to August 19 this year from what was originally scheduled on May 21, 2019, according to the advisory to investors issued by the energy department.
It qualified that the deadline had been extended “in order to provide additional time for applicants and other interested parties to submit their complete application documents.”
The energy department, as of latest count, has been expecting up to 17 firms that are interested to lodge application for the new petroleum service areas on offer.
In the roll previously indicated by the department as interested investors included Australian, American, British, Spanish, French, Anglo-Dutch, Israeli, and a number of Asian companies – and such included the well-entrenched players already operating in the country.
The tender submissions under PCECP are two-fold: one will be for the PDAs which has a set deadline; and the other will be through “unsolicited mode” of which applications can be lodged year-round.
To entice investors, the DOE already did two rounds of roadshows in Singapore; and is also planning new ones in Canada, United Arab Emirates, Canada and Argentina.
The PCECP submission on the pre-determined blocks will be an “acid test” of investors’ real interest in the service areas being offered by the country – which is expected boosted by the recent legal victory in the Malampaya tax case a hurdle seen straining investment flows in the sector in recent years.
In the nomination scheme, the DOE indicated that many of the interests are “in the conflict areas”, which it said it is constrained to process until the Philippines sorts out an acceptable “joint exploration framework” with the Chinese government.
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said he has informed his Chinese counterpart on his department’s willingness to “start a dialogue on the matter,” but he said he has yet to secure a concrete response for that.